Khamis, 2 September 2010

Dinar Kelantan: I'm lucky not to be a Kelantanese

Mercu Tanda Kelantan Serambi Mekah

Dinar Kelantan : Dah Silap Kira ‘Bang

Thursday, August 26, 2010Part 2
By Syed Akbar Ali

The dinar or denarius (dinaro) can be traced back to Roman Times a few centuries BC (before Christ). It is not “Islamic” in its origins. After 211 BC the Romans minted denarius using silver. The dinar was not always (and need not be) made of gold. Based on the Roman denarius, the French Emperor Charlemagne created the French ‘denier’ coin. The Spanish also minted dinero. The Arabic word dinar most certainly is taken from the Latin dinero. In history, the dinar need not be from gold.

One PAS guy said that the Quran has ordained the use of the gold dinar. If it was anyone else I would say that he made a mistake but since the PAS always claim to be holier than thou (even during the fasting month) I will therefore say that they are just lying. The Quran says no such thing.

The word “dinar” appears just once in the Quran. Here it is :

Surah 3:75 Some followers of the scripture can be trusted with a whole lot, and they will give it back to you. Others among them cannot be trusted with a single dinar (dinaarin) they will not repay you unless you keep after them. That is because they say, "We do not have to be honest when dealing with the gentiles!"* Thus, they attribute lies to GOD, knowingly.

The verse above (read from 3:70 till 3:78) talks about the trustworthiness of the People of the Book (Ahli Kitab). It has absolutely nothing to do with “gold” dinars or an “Islamic” currency.

Wouldn’t it be strange if someone asks you “When is Monday?” We all know that Monday is after Sunday and before Tuesday.

Wouldn’t it be strange if someone asks you when is 1st September? 1st September is after 31st August lah. And before 2nd September. What a silly question?

All Muslims know that they celebrate Hari Raya Puasa on 1st Syawal. Wouldn’t it be not strange if someone does not ask “When is 1st Syawal?” 1st Syawal must be before 2nd Syawal. It should be as simple as that. Well, not really. First of all no one can know when is 1st Syawal because no one knows the last day of the previous month - the bulan puasa. The guys have to go and “sight the moon” before they can determine the LAST day of the bulan puasa. Only after they can confirm the last day of this month, can they then determine when is 1st Syawal. Then the bulan puasa can be 30 days, 29 days or even 28 days. Alamak ! Lagi complicated.

Even if they have sighted the moon, we will still not know when is 1st Syawal. It only makes sense to us when we say 1st Syawal will fall on 10th September. Simply put the Arab calendar is pegged to the Gregorian (aka Christian) calendar. The Arab calendar cannot stand alone.

What happens if in some ‘islamic’ country they decide to completely wipe out from the face of the earth all references to the Gregorian or ‘christian’ calendar? “Hear ye hear ye, from this day onwards we shall only use the Arabic calendar.”

Well a lot of people will miss a lot of flights at the airport. Imagine Air Asia having an advanced booking promotion “Fifty sen only per ticket from here to there, provided you make your bookings online before 1st Syawal NEXT year”.

Huh? When is that? We wont have problems if Air Asia says “Fifty sen only per ticket from here to there, provided you make your bookings online before 1st September NEXT year”

This is because the Arab calendar “migrates” throughout the year. 1st Syawal this year is around 10th September. Next year 1st Syawal may be around 18th August (correct me if I am mistaken). The year after that 1st Syawal may be around 26th July.

This is why we need the Gregorian “christian” calendar. The Arabic calendar does not tell us ‘practical’ time. For practical purposes it is quite useless. The Arab calendar only has meaning when it is pegged to the Gregorian calendar.

I am dwelling on this to point out that the Kelantan dinar is still pegged to the Malaysian Ringgit. The Ringgit is fiat money, a situation that the proponents of the dinar seek to overcome.

At todays prices for 22 Karat Gold (91.6% purity) at RM137 per gram, a 4.25 gram gold dinar will be worth 582.25 Malaysian Ringgit. Ringgit is fiat money. Doesn’t it then become a “circular argument”. In Malay ‘cakap pusing-pusing’. The value of the gold dinar is pegged to the value of fiat money.

What is the difference if it is a coin made from 4.25 grams of gold, 45 grams of silver, 4 kilograms of copper or 40 kilos of tin as long as it is pegged to fiat money? What is the big deal?

There is another issue with gold as coinage or currency. Gold has its own intrinsic value. The value of the gold keeps going up and down.

In July 22 Karat gold was at RM148 per gram. Early August, the price of gold fell 8% to RM137 per gram. If we don’t have fiat money (Ringgits) how do we measure this?

Yes you can have a completely “fiat money” free economy (simple, just pass a law and ban all paper currency). Then how do you pay for the Bakun Dam that is worth RM7.3 Billion in gold (at today’s prices)? A ship load of gold? Someone said you don’t transport the gold but just issue some sort of certificate representing the RM7.3 billion in gold as payment for the Bakun Dam. (The actual gold will remain safely somewhere – say with Nik Aziz in Kelantan Gold Trade Sdn Bhd or whatever)

This is just like writing a cheque, isn’t it? Or “sakk” during the time of Harun Al Rashid? Isnt that “fiat money” again? Apa beza sangat? Its back to square one.

If you say that the fiat money system is manipulated and corrupted by George Soros, the Jews, Wall Street etc. what makes you think that the same folks will not manipulate gold? Especially when the value of gold is pegged to the value of fiat money?

One of the requirements (hence the success) of fiat money is that the currency note has little intrinsic value. The paper and ink used in a RM50.00 note is worth just a few cents. Hence the “face value” of an RM50.00 note remains the same. Only the prices of things can go up and down, the value of the ‘currency’ remains the same. This makes our life easy. When you go shopping, you just count your money. You don’t bother checking what is the value of your RM50.00 note today.

Its not the same with gold coins. If the dinar is made of gold, not only will the prices of things go up and down, the value of the gold dinar itself will go up and down. So before you go out shopping, not only must you have dinars but you must check what is the price of gold today. Then you must multiply today’s gold price by the number of 4.25 gram gold coins you have. Only then you will know your purchasing power for today.

This only makes life even more difficult. The makciks in the kampongs must use calculators and look up Reuters (Jewish owned) to check the gold prices before they go out shopping. And all those countries that are blessed with gold under the soil, immediately become the wealthiest nations on earth. What is their contribution to real productivity or value added?

According to the dinar folks, the value of a gold dinar is :

“..menetapkan bahawa nilai 1 Dinar adalah bersamaan dengan 72 bijian barley”

They say (not me ok) that this is the definition going back to the Caliphs (and not the Prophet). In today’s age of genetically modified grains, super fertilizers etc a grain of barley may need further clarification. Just like basmati rice and Bario rice. Which one represents the real rice? Can we say 72 grains of Bario Rice shall represent an “Islamic” whatever?

It has then been derived that “4.25g emas 22 Karat (917)” shall be the weight and purity of the gold dinar. So 72 grains of barley is 4.25 grams? Well moving along, the weight of the coin does not really matter at all. Lets be clear about that.

In the gold trade, the purity of the gold is more important. It is a modern convention that 100% pure Gold shall be set as 24 Karat. So 18 Karat Gold is simply 18/24 X 100% = 75% purity.

Suasa (Lelaki) which is worn by Muslim males in Malaysia is actually 9 Karat Gold. So 9 / 24 X 100% = 37.50 % purity.

By the same calculation 22 Karat gold is 22 / 24 X 100% = 91.666666667 % purity.

In Malaysia the Chinese Goldsmiths Association has set 916 Gold (91.6% purity) as the industry standard for 22 Karat Gold. (In practice the purity is higher at about 91.63%).

The Kelantan Dinar says that their 22 Karat Gold coin is “917” meaning 91.7% purity. You must ask how can 22K become “917” in Kelantan? Simple – they round up the 91.666666667 to become 917.

I think here the ‘cina kapir’ goldsmiths are being a little more Islamic. They don’t round up. They value their 22 Karat gold slightly less at 91.6% only. So the Kelantan Dinar gets a 0.1% extra value straight away. But what’s 0.1 % among Islamic brothers? After all whats yours is mine. Whats mine is mine too.

There is an outfit called the World Islamic Mint (WIM) which has been entrusted with overlooking the gold purity of the Kelantan Dinar. Who are they? I have never heard of the World Islamic Mint. It is a fact that the world gold trade is controlled by the Jews.

They have set up a company Kelantan Golden Trade Sdn Bhd (KGTSB) to be the source of this dinar in Kelantan. More on this later.

I think there will be a final Part 3 - who makes money from the Kelantan dinar?.

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